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 Post subject: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Its a grey wintery day here in Canuck land, so I got to thinking (yes Gus I do think too much) why not take a look at the good old spike support disc? After 20+ years of collecting somehow, I have acquired a bunch of these things. It turns out that as usual, there are different sizes and variations. The disc as we all know, was intended to support the weight of the spike and prevent the top of the leather shell from collapsing. Sometimes, we find it on the outside of the shell and we have discussed this anomaly but to be honest, this was obviously, not regulation, this was something that occurred after the war, it makes no sense really. These M95 helmets gleamed like patent leather when they were new as can be seen in the fotos and that is why the uberzug was invented....so disc on the outside....NOT!! To my knowledge, there is no period picture of a helmet with the disc on the outside of the shell. So, I took the following fotos and lets see what this thread has to offer.

Image
Three discs of different sizes and at least in one example, a different metal was used. On the left we have the standard disc most often found on the OR's pickelhaube. Typically, it measures 9.3 cm in diameter and can be made of tin or steel. The steel ones are heavier and less flexible. In the middle we have an aluminium disc from a private purchase officer helme. It is the smallest of the 3 at 7.8 cm and as well, you can see the difference in shape. The last disc on the right is an OR disc but again smaller than the standard one on the left. It measures 8.2 cm and is made of steel.

Here is a pic of 2 Hessen style discs and one other rusted one that is even bigger (11.9 cm) than the standard M95. The aluminium disc measures 12.5 cm in diameter
Image

And next, we see some additional examples of different discs:
Image
On the left we have a disc manufacturer stamped 1914 Carl Goldschmidt H Luckenwalde and in the middle painted numbers which may indicate a date?? Last a tin un painted disc of the smaller diameter discussed above.
In my restoration travels, I have seen cruciform officer/OR helmets with both aluminium and black painted tin cruciform support devices. I invite members to post pics of these as I do not have examples. Typically, the cruciform spikes, especially on officer helmes cause problems with the helmet top because of the weight. This problem was known to manufacturers at the time because we find the metal supports as mentioned. However, many cruciform officer helmes did not have supports, just the usual small tin discs under the star screws. This is the case with my Oldenberg Dragoner officer helme shown in the forum logo.
The most unusual officer cruciform spike base device I have ever encountered during a restoration, was made of aluminum and had elongated arms that were pined at the back by the rear spine slit brad, at the side by the chin scale bosses and at the front by a split brad soldered to the back of the wappen. I took pics at the time but unfortunately, they were lost when my computer had to be replaced years ago. If anyone has an example of this configuration, please post some fotos on this thread.
Last a foto the Hessen style disc in place on my JR 115 helme:

Image]

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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:54 am 
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I was once offered a helmet with that aluminum disc with elongated arms, I thought it was a post war fix ,and passed. #-o

This is my Hessen with the standard disc.

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:14 am 
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Great information !

In the French magazine Uniformes Hors série Nr 31 an "Ersatz" support disc is mentioned:

One size fits all

Eight holes in one disc.
-four round holes (Hessian helmets)
-four oval holes for the other Länder.

Who has an example / picture of this kind of disc ? Size ??

(Size of this type of disc is not mentioned).

Thank you,
Francis


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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:07 am 
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That's a good question Francis. I don't think I've ever seen this. Maybe Randy has. Or perhaps Tony or Bruno or Karel. Seems to me that Brian did a good job naming this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:11 pm 
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This thread was based on my collection of 10 regulation discs, 3 large Hessen style discs and 5 of the smaller smaller diameter discs shown in the original pictures above. So, a fairly large sampling of discs were available for observations. Looking at the ones that I have, the regulation size disc always has oval holes which match the prongs on the spike brads. However, the smaller diameter OR's discs both steel, tin and aluminium have round holes. They could all be officer discs from private purchase helmets?? The round holes would match the posts on the officer stars and probably, this is the explanation. BTW, I am still hoping for other members' pictures of the black steel/tin and aluminium cruciform supports found typically on Dragoner style helmets to complete this thread. Thanks to all who have commented and posted pics so far.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:26 pm 
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OK, thanks to Tony, I now have 2 pics of cruciform black tin supports to show on this post. Both are Bavarian OR Cavalry helmets one is an M15, and the other an M95 with brass fittings. First, the M15:
Image
Two extra things of note here with this helme besides the support. The use of wing nuts to hold on the wappen (screw posts on an M15 wappen ???) and second, the fact that the stitch line for the helmet liner is off centre with the spine. Most times that stitching which holds the 2 liner ends together is more in line with the end of the rear spine. Last, the holes punched in both supports are oval in shape for the split brads like the standard circular support disc.
The M95 with the same cruciform support and wing nuts:

Image
Damn, that Schnurr fella sure has some nice hats don't he? Thanks again T.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:55 pm 
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Brian; Great thread. Just checked my helmets with cruciform supports. Seems that only my Bavarian helmets, OR issue field artillery marked and OR issue with no markings, but either for artillery or cavalry, have a cruciform support, like Tonys they are black with oval holes and split brads. Can I assume that this was typical for OR Bavarian issue helmets?? Cheers Dick


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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:40 pm 
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I have a cruciform reinforcing piece from a relic Bavarian Pickelhaube. Just as shown in the photos of the well-preserved helmets above, this one is steel and it was blackened (before decades of rust ruined most of the finish).


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 Post subject: Re: The Lowly Spike Support Disc
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:37 am 
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Black and white rules in the world of pickelhaube Dick are very fleeting ! However, it looks like the Bavarian issued OR helmets with cruciform bases were all issued with cruciform supports as well. I still need that pic of the officer aluminum cruciform support gentlemen. I know they exist, I have seen them several times....they could be Prussian, Bavarian, Wurtt. anything worn by a mounted officer.

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